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15 Tips for Your Medical School Personal Statement

Essay Critique/Analysis/Revision

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Personal Statement Topics
A great medical school personal statement is key in the application process
Before You Apply

Why I Am a Qualified Person The last major theme deals with your experience and qualifications, both for attending medical school and for becoming a good doctor. Having direct hospital or research experience is always the best evidence you can give. If you have none, then consider what other experience you have that is related.

If you have done it, use it. The important thing to remember here is that any type or amount of experience you have had should be mentioned, no matter how insignificant you feel it is.

Your experience does not even have to be medically related to be relevant. Many successful applicants cite non-medical volunteer experience as evidence of their willingness to help and heal the human race. The Introduction The most important leading sentence of all, of course, is the first sentence of your essay. The words and images you use must do more than simply announce the theme or topic of your essay-they must engage the reader. If, after the first sentence, the admissions counselor does not like what she sees, she may not continue reading.

You do not have to begin by writing the lead. Often, you will spot the lead floating around in the middle of your first draft. Standard leads are the most commonly used. A standard lead answers one or more of the six basic questions: It gives the reader an idea of what to expect.

A summary lead is a kind of standard lead that attempts to answer most of these questions in one sentence. Creative leads attempt to add interest by being obtuse or funny, and can leave you wondering what the essay will be about, or make you smile.

Action leads take the reader into the middle of a piece of action, and are perfect for short essays where space needs to be conserved or for narrative essays that begin with a story. Personal or revealing leads reveal something about the writer, are always in the first person and usually take an informal, conversational tone. Quotation leads can be a direct quotation or a paraphrase. It is most effective when the quote you choose is unusual, funny, or obscure, and not too long.

Dialogue leads take the reader into a conversation and can take the form of actual dialogue between two people or can simply be a snippet of personal thought.

Informative leads give the reader a fact or a statistic that is connected to the topic of your essay or simply provide a piece of information about yourself or a situation. Last But Not Least, the Editing Checklist Be sure you have answered the question asked and backed up each point that you made with concrete and personal examples, and be specific—no generalities allowed.

Be sure the essay accurately represents you and sounds like you. To check the overall structure of your essay, conduct a first-sentence check. Write down the first sentence of every paragraph in order. Read through them one after another and ask the following: Would someone who was reading only these sentences still understand exactly what you are trying to say?

Do the first sentences express all of your main points? Do the thoughts flow naturally? About your essay as a whole, does each paragraph stick to the thought that was introduced in the first sentence? Does a piece of evidence support each point?

Is each paragraph roughly the same length? If not, you may be trying to squeeze too many thoughts into some of them. Does your conclusion draw naturally from the previous paragraphs? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Look at your essay with the interest equation in mind: Is the opening paragraph personal?

Do you start with action or an image? Does the essay show rather than tell? Did you use any words that are not usually a part of your vocabulary? If so, get rid of them. Have you used the active voice whenever possible? Have you overused adjectives and adverbs? Have you deleted redundancies?

Does the essay sound interesting to you? Will the ending give the reader a sense of completeness? Does the last sentence sound like the last sentence? Loved the article I would like too see a section on the conclusion as detailed as the section on the introduction.

This came at a great time…sent by God I believe. My concern is beyond the personal statement, I need to tell of a time I overcame adversity and nothing immediatley comes to mind…. Darn, this came too late for me. However, it would have been exceptional about a month ago. If need be, I will come back to this page and utilize the key points. Wish me luck for grad school! That is to help students like you with all your writing problems. Addiction Search is a comprehensive site dedicated to providing health consumers and professionals with up-to-date, research-based information on drug and alcohol addiction, addiction treatment approaches, and policy issues.

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Before I read this, I felt lost as to how I should go about writing my personal statement. Now, I feel like I have so many ideas and more to come that just need to be well organized and put together. Thank you so much! I can see a real Juliet in you. Additionally, remember that more letters is not necessarily better. Understand it this way: This means you need to get to know your professors or more importantly, you need to give your professors an opportunity to get to know you.

Go to office hours; become a teaching assistant; volunteer to work in their lab; take them to lunch! Whatever it takes so that when the time comes, they will be able to write you a personal letter of recommendation.

If the person hesitates in any way, look elsewhere. Although this may be embarrassing, it will hurt you a lot more in the long run to have someone write you a lukewarm or unenthusiastic letter of recommendation.

Remember, schools fully expect these letters to be glowing endorsements. Once you have garnered a positive response, be sure to provide your recommender with a resume to provide a more complete picture of you as a person. If you have a strong academic record, you may want to include a copy of your transcript to showcase your academic prowess and consistency. Your Personal Statement and any articles or papers which you think may be helpful should also be offered.

Finally, always provide the writer with clear directions for electronic or hard-copy submission of the letter to the appropriate school s. You should provide addressed and stamped envelopes when needed. Pre-meds who procrastinate will be left scrambling to get recommendations. Professors and teaching assistants can become overwhelmed with requests. You can imagine the potential quality of these letters. You must give at least one month for your letter writers to write and submit the letters.

Keep track of the status of your letters. As the deadlines approach, call and check on their progress. They want to know why you want to enter the medical profession and this is your chance to tell them as clearly and compellingly as you can.

If you plan on submitting your application through AMCAS, the length of your personal statement should be characters, which should be ample space to succinctly set yourself apart from other applicants. You can explain why you really want to pursue medical graduate work and the career path it will enable you to follow. Your essay also enables you to explain things like weaknesses or gaps in an otherwise commendable record. Essays are the best way for admissions officers to determine who you are.

Feel free to discuss past events that, in part, define who you are. If you have overcome significant obstacles, say so. If you were honored with an award, describe the award and what you did to achieve recognition. Give some thought to how your past and current experiences have contributed to your intellectual, personal and professional development. Rather than make pronouncements about goals and future activities, which are easily made-up and often exaggerated, select a few stories from your life experiences that showcase the qualities and characteristics that you already possess and that will help you be an empathic, committed doctor.

Always remember the adage: Start early, write several drafts, and edit, edit, edit. The personal statement is not the time to recount all your activities and honors in list-like fashion. This is your opportunity to put a little panache into the application.

Show the admissions committee why you decided to go into medicine. Was it an experience you had in school? Was there a particular extracurricular activity that changed your way of thinking?

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Rachel Rudeen, admissions coordinator for the University of Minnesota Medical School, says the school's admissions team uses the admissions essay .

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With limited characters, your primary goal for your personal statement should be to tell medical school admissions committees why you will be an excellent doctor. Admissions committees will Location: Los Angeles, CA USA. Create an Artful Essay for a Standout Medical School Application personal statement and secondary essays such that they tie together and exemplify your passions. Every activity you list and.

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